Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

18 August 2007

Fists in the Pocket

I know that I frequently complain on this blog about movies about disaffected young people who don't have any direction and mope about their houses. I recently complained about Jean-Pierre Melville's Les Enfants Terribles for doing this, and my distaste for Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers is well documented.

But recently I saw Lindsay Anderson's If...., a very cool story about kids who are unhappy with their status quo and rebel, and today I watched a film by Marco Bellocchio called Fists in the Pocket from 1965. It's about a young man who lives in a villa in the mountains with his younger sister, blind mother, and retarded younger brother. He is sick of this family life and so he rebels against it in an intriguing, vaguely horrifying way: by pushing his mother off a cliff. The boy is such an interesting character, too. I mean, he's obviously pathologically disturbed and all of that, but he's quiet and sad and Bellocchio pays very close attention. We watch his every move and never have a clear idea of what he's going to do. He could really kill anyone at any given moment in the film. It's a very interesting character study.

The extras on the DVD include some cool interviews with the cast and director, and a tribute to the film by Bernardo Bertolucci, which is a fascinating watch.